BROCK Van Kampen has always been at home in the water.
A natural swimmer since he was just one year old, the Manning Point local rarely spent much time out of the water and took up water sports as soon as he was old enough.
As he grew up it became clear that he was naturally gifted at a range of sports, but the (almost) 14-year-old has now chosen to focus his time and effort into further developing his swimming skills, both in the pool and in the ocean.
Brock trains four times a week at Forster with coach Peter Sanders and is a member of the Forster Aquatic Swim Club and the Taree High School student is also a member of the Cape Hawke Surf Life Saving Club.
Brock is this week's Manning River Times Iguana Sportstar of the Week, following a busy school holidays that saw him shine at the NSW Development Swimming Carnival in Sydney, attend a talented athlete program at Sydney's Institute of Sport and place strongly at the Weekend of Surf in Forster, over the long weekend.
The teenager has only been competing in the pool for three years and amazingly came away with five medals from the development carnival at Sydney Olympic Park on September 22.
He swam four personal bests in his different races and managed to take out gold and a new meet record for the 50m breaststroke, while also being named as the NSW male swimmer of the meet, against 1000 other competitors.
"I was really surprised," he admitted.
"I was just really impressed with how big my PB'S (personal bests) were.
"I have a great coach, I really couldn't ask for a better coach than Pete."
Brock admits to looking up to all the members of Australia's swimming team but isn't one to put such high expectations on himself.
"I just really enjoy swimming and I love training so I'll keep taking it step by step and go as far as I can," he said.
Brock placed second in his age group in the swim at the Weekend of Surf carnival in Forster, narrowly trailing the current State champion, while he also had two fifth placings in the board and the ironman.
On top of all this he continues to hone his skills to keep pushing himself and his fellow competitors, this time with the help of the NSWIS at Narrabeen.
"That was a great experience," Brock explained.
"We did a lot of testing and training, and heaps of focus on our technique and enhancing our skills, it was really fun."
It's clear to see where Brock's success has come from, with a dedication and genuine love of swimming that makes 5am starts not just bearable, but enjoyable.
"I love training, I go a bit stir-crazy when I don't," he laughed.